Euro on brink with volatility sweeping through markets as French election on KNIFE EDGE

Euro on brink with volatility sweeping through markets as French election on KNIFE EDGE

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EuroGETTY

Mounting drama in the French presidential race is expected to cause the euro to fluctuate

And it is almost certainly set to be a battle of the far-right and far-left as the polarisation of the vote continues. 

Polls appear to indicate that Front National candidate Marine Le Pen will make it through to the second round of the vote with far-left candidate Jean Luc Melenchon gaining ground on centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Melenchon, who has a hard line approach to the EU, appears to have 20 per cent of the vote catching up on pro-Europe En Marche! candidate Mr Macron who has 22 per cent in polls of polls data.

While Mrs Le Pen continues to stay strong with her 22 percentage points indicating she is still a front runner, the issue of Europe appears to be weighing on voters minds.

Historically the French left has come out to attempt to stop the far-right from gaining power and wild card Melenchon could be capitalising on anti-EU sentiment.

This will almost certainly lead to more market volatility for the Euro currency which has been showing that investors are uneasy, say analysts.


The risk is that the far left and the far right make it into the second round

Kathleen Brooks of City Index


Kathleen Brooks of City Index says: “The risk is that the far-left and the far-right make it into the second round run off”.

US bank JP Morgan has warned that a victory for Mrs Le Pen could see the value of the euro tumble to 98 cents to the US dollar.

While some analysts say that a Macron win will almost certainly help to catapult the Euro thanks to positive investor sentiment.

Historically the EU has been a major bone of contention for the French people who are concerned about free movement of people, unemployment and terrorism.

The French public is said to overwhelmingly oppose EU policies, 12 years after they voted to reject the EU constitution in a referendum result that was never ratified.

More than 15 million people in France voted against the constitution with almost 55 per cent of people voting No with 45 per cent in favour, with a turnout of 70 per cent. 

But in reality, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin was quickly replaced by Dominique de Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy became Minister of the Interior.

Sarkozy was then later elected as President of the French Republic in May 2007 and later organised a renegotiation and ratification without a referendum, leaving the public furious.Eventually he brought the Lisbon Treaty to Parliament, against the wishes of the 15,449,508 people who voted no, and pushed the treaty through instead. 

CandidatesGETTY

Le Pen and Macron remain tied on 22 per cent as left-winger Melenchon gains ground

Mr Macron, who has never been elected to public office and was appointed by Francois Hollande as finance minister, has continued to support the EU despite the public’s reticence.

He has been leading the polls for the moderates however has recently been overshadowed by Mr Melenchon who is taking a hard line.

The first round of the vote will take place on Sunday April 23, with a second run off, if no one achieves an overall majority taking place on May 7.

Marine Le PenGETTY

Investors are worried about the far-right and far-left candidates facing off in the second round

There are currently 11 candidates running with traditional Republican Francois Fillon’s campaign still facing issues over the employment scandal plaguing his family polling at 19 per cent.

However an Opinionway poll reported today that Francois Fillon would beat Marine Le Pen in a run-off vote by 60 percent to 40 percent if the Republican leader made it through to second round.

Meanwhile socialist Beniot Hamon is is projected to take just 7.5 per cent.

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